Eyebrows have been raised across the Harry Potter fanbase after the news that Hermione Granger is to be portrayed by a black actress in the new official Potter theatrical production, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The production, which follows Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermione in their adult lives, has cast Noma Dumezweni as Hermione. Jamie Parker will play Harry and Paul Thornley will perform Ron.
In a tweet responding to criticism of the casting, author of the series J.K. Rowling said “brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.” The tweet currently has 55,000 retweets and likes, and has garnered a mixture of support and criticism from fans.
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione 😘 https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015
Understandably, some fans want to know whether the play acts as a separate canon from the films, where Hermione is white, or whether she has simply decided to follow the path of Rachael Dolezal and Shaun King to become an independent trans-black female. Some fans also theorise that it could be the result of a spell.
The play is scheduled to start in May, and has already sold more than 250,000 tickets to die-hard Potter fans.
Charlie Nash is a libertarian writer, memeologist, and child prodigy. When he is not writing, he can usually be found chilling at the Korova Milk Bar, mingling with the infamous. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrNashington.